With the season at the quarter mark, it's time to take a look at candidates for dubious-achievement awards:
- There are two "hitters" who started the season on major-league rosters and still have .000 batting averages. Toronto's Tom Lawless is the leader with nine at-bats, followed by S.F.'s Mike Laga at 0-for-6. Lawless pretty much backed into this, however, since Texas' Chad Kreuter was 0-for-18 before the Rangers had seen enough and sent him to the minors. If he gets promoted back to the big club, who knows?- Five major leaguers have already reached the double-figure mark in errors. At the top is Detroit second baseman Tony Phillips (eat your heart out, Oakland), with 15, followed by Met third baseman Howard Johnson with 13. Astro shortstop Rafael Ramirez has 12, L.A. shortstop Alfredo Griffin 11, and Pittsburgh shortstop Jay Bell, 10.
- Six major leaguers are tied for the lead in most attempts to steal a base without having been successful, at three. They are Boston's Tony Pena, Montreal's Tim Wallach, L.A.'s Hubie Brooks, Seattle's Edgar Martinez, Houston's Glenn Wilson, and the White Sox' Scott Fletcher. Best bet to win this one is Pena, considering who his manager is.
- K.C.'s Bo Jackson (whose idea of selectivity is to never swing at a pickoff throw) has overtaken L.A.'s leadoff hitter, Juan Samuel, for the major-league strikeout lead, 53-52. Other contenders are Baltimore's Mickey Tettleton, 51; Texas' Pete Incaviglia, 47; and Cleveland's Cory Snyder, 47.
- Only one major-leaguer has passed the 40 mark in walks - Randy Milligan, at 41. Walks are generally considered to be a positive thing, but this guy's achievement is balanced somewhat by his strikeout total - 29. The idea you get is that he stands around up there a lot.
- Philadelphia's Dickie Noles has the worst ERA in either league, at 27.00. He's pitched 1/3 of an inning this season. Among pitchers with double-figure ERAs, Boston's Wes Gardner (10.00) has pitched the most innings, at nine. His manager has actually sent him into seven games. For laughs, no doubt.
- Five major-league pitchers have given up double-figure homers: Seattle's Randy Johnson, 12; N.Y.'s Tim Leary and Detroit's Jeff Robinson, 11; Houston's Mike Scott and Baltimore's Jeff Ballard, 10. This fivesome's average ERA is 4.56.
50-50 WATCH: Jose Canseco may not reach his goal of 50 homers and 50 stolen bases, but 50 homers is definitely not out of his reach and he is already in double figures in steals. So if he should hit 50 and steal 20-plus, keep this in mind: Of the 10 men in baseball history who have hit 50 homers, only one stole as many as 20 bases in a 50-homer season. That was Willie Mays, in 1955, with 51 and 24. The only other guy who even came close was some old-timer named Babe Ruth, who stole 17 and pounded 59 homers in 1921.
SEND HIM BACK TO N.Y: The five years Mike Pagliarulo spent in the Bronx Zoo evidently left him with the reasoning power of a chimpanzee.
The Padre third baseman recently lashed out at teammate Tony Gwynn, saying that the four-time batting champ and three-time Gold Glove winner doesn't care if his team wins or loses.
"He cares only about his hits," Pagliarulo said. "If we win, and he goes zero for four, forget it, he's ticked. If he gets his hits, and we lose, that's fine with him. He doesn't give a (bleep) about this team."
Gwynn was perplexed by Pagliarulo's assault. "What are these people basing this on, that when I have a bad game, I get mad at myself? This guy doesn't even know me, and he's saying this."
Being aware of your stats is no crime. Pete Rose could always tell you what his batting average was, and no one accused him of being a selfish player.
Pagliarulo's lifetime batting average is .227. Gwynn's is .332. Maybe Pagliarulo would care about his own stats more if he could hit.
SNYDER A BUC?: The Pirates are looking for a right-handed power hitter and have reportedly expressed interest in Cleveland's Cory Snyyder.
Pittsburgh General Manager Larry Doughty said his team has looked at Snyder, the Yankees' Jesse Barfield, and the Brewers' Rob Deer.
"I would hope we could do something this week," Doughty said. "I don't know if it's going to turn out or not, but I would hope that it does. Our biggest need is for right-handed power."
If the Pirates should get another starting outfielder, they would move Bobby Bonilla to first base. Bonilla doesn't like the idea, especially after his disastrous showing at third base last season.
One question for the Bucs: Is Snyder still considered a power hitter?
SHORT STUFF: L.A.'s Mike Morgan (Ogden) has three shutouts this season, matching his combined total from 1982-89 with the Yankees, Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore and Dodgers . . . Detroit's Jack Morris (BYU) had the longest losing streak in the AL, at six, before he won Friday night despite giving up six earned runs in five innings. During that losing streak, he had taken a lead into the sixth inning or later five times.